Download Analyzing the solutions of DEA through information visualization and

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Nonlinear dimensionality reduction wikipedia, lookup

Expert Systems with Applications 39 (2012) 7763–7775
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
Expert Systems with Applications
journal homepage:
Analyzing the solutions of DEA through information visualization and data
mining techniques: SmartDEA framework
Alp Eren Akçay a,1, Gürdal Ertek a,⇑, Gülçin Büyüközkan b
Sabancı University, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Orhanli, Tuzla, 34956 Istanbul, Turkey
~an Cad No: 36, 34257 Ortaköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Department of Industrial Engineering, Galatasaray University, Çırag
a r t i c l e
i n f o
Data envelopment analysis (DEA)
Information visualization
Data mining
Decision support system framework
a b s t r a c t
Data envelopment analysis (DEA) has proven to be a useful tool for assessing efficiency or productivity of
organizations, which is of vital practical importance in managerial decision making. DEA provides a significant amount of information from which analysts and managers derive insights and guidelines to promote
their existing performances. Regarding to this fact, effective and methodologic analysis and interpretation
of DEA results are very critical. The main objective of this study is then to develop a general decision
support system (DSS) framework to analyze the results of basic DEA models. The paper formally shows
how the results of DEA models should be structured so that these solutions can be examined and interpreted by analysts through information visualization and data mining techniques effectively. An innovative and convenient DEA solver, SmartDEA, is designed and developed in accordance with the proposed
analysis framework. The developed software provides DEA results which are consistent with the framework and are ready-to-analyze with data mining tools, thanks to their specially designed table-based
structures. The developed framework is tested and applied in a real world project for benchmarking the
vendors of a leading Turkish automotive company. The results show the effectiveness and the efficacy
of the proposed framework.
Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a widely used method in
performance evaluation and benchmarking of a set of entities.
The popularity of DEA can be easily confirmed in the article of
Emrouznejad, Parker, and Tavares (2008) that has summarized
previous DEA contributions during the past three decades. Its convenience in assessing the multiple input and output variables of
these entities by not requiring congruity and an apriori relationship makes it a very popular management tool in many application
areas. Another reason for its wide use is the managerial insights
that come up with the solution of a DEA model. For instance,
DEA assigns a peer group or reference set for an inefficient entity.
The entity can take the entities in this reference set as role models
in accordance with the assigned weights. Another important DEA
result is the target values or projections for the input and output
variables of an inefficient entity to achieve full efficiency. DEA thus
provides significant amount of information from which analysts
and managers derive insights and guidelines to enhance their
existing performances. Regarding to this fact, effective and
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +90 216 483 9568; fax: +90 216 483 9550.
E-mail address: (G. Ertek).
Present address: Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business, 5000
Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213 PA, USA.
0957-4174/$ - see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
methodologic analysis and interpretation of DEA solutions is very
critical (El-Mahgary & Lahdelma, 1995; Emrouznejad & De Witte,
2010; Yadav, Padhy, & Gupta, 2010).
The main contribution in this study is the development of a
general framework that enables DEA analysts to extract the most
important and interesting insights in a systematic manner. In order
to do so, a computer science and data mining perspective is
adopted for designing the structure of the DEA results. Various data
mining and information visualization techniques can be appropriate for the analysis of different types of DEA models (Lin, Lin, Li, &
Kuo, 2008; Seol, Lee, & Kim, 2011). The paper provides a fundamental basis for the implementation of these techniques in the
DEA solutions. A convenient and general notation is proposed for
the DEA data included in the model, the other data and the results
data generated by DEA solvers. The ultimate goal of the study is
then to build a structure framework for the analysis of DEA results,
enabling researchers and practitioners to make analytical benchmarking and performance evaluations.
In accordance with the proposed framework, a user-friendly
and convenient DEA software, SmartDEA, is designed and developed. The software generates DEA solutions with a structure
consistent with the framework. The analysis steps performed by
a DEA analyst are importing the model data, analyzing the data
by solving the appropriate DEA model, and making analytical inquires on the generated solution data to evaluate and benchmark
A.E. Akçay et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 39 (2012) 7763–7775
the entities assessed in DEA model. The solution data generated by
the software allows analysts to integrate the results and many of
the data mining and information visualization techniques in a convenient and effective manner.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows: after a brief introduction to the DEA, the theory of the basic DEA models are explained in Section 2, providing a fundamental background for
DEA. Since it is critical to know when and where DEA is an appropriate method, advantages and drawbacks of DEA are also explained in the same section. Proposed framework, which is based
on the integration of DEA results with data mining and information
visualization techniques, is presented in Section 3. An overview of
existing DEA software is followed by the presentation of the developed DEA solver, SmartDEA, in Section 4. The testing of the framework and SmartDEA with the real world data of an automotive
company is illustrated in Section 5. Concluding remarks are summarized in Section 6.
composite unit (i.e. virtual producer – with respect to which the
efficiency score of the inefficient DMU is found) are also computed
by the DEA model.
One important shortcoming of DEA is the rank ordering of the
efficiency scores for each DMU. Each inefficient DMU is labeled
as such only in comparison to the given group, and this may be
misleading: An inefficient DMU may have been labeled as efficient
if it were part of an inferior group. Conversely, an efficient DMU
may not necessarily be efficient when compared as a part of another group. Also, theoretically, only the DMUs with the same reference sets can be strictly rank ordered (Avkıran, 1999). Yet
another important result DEA provides is the target inputs and target outputs, which are referred to as projections. They represent up
to which value an input should be decreased while keeping the
outputs at the same levels (i.e. input orientation) or how much
an output should be increased while the input level remains unincreased (i.e. output orientation), respectively, so that the DMU becomes efficient.
2. Data envelopment analysis (DEA)
2.2. Basic DEA models
2.1. Introduction to the DEA
Since its introduction by Charnes et al. (1978) in their seminal
work measuring efficiency of decision making units, the CCR model
served as the origin of many following ideas and models in DEA literature. Cooper et al. (2006) discusses the model in detail together
with the classical alternative models. The theoretical formulations
and summaries in this section are based on Cooper et al. (2006).
Let’s suppose that there are n DMUs in the model: DMU1, DMU2 , . . . , DMUn. Suppose there are m inputs and s outputs for each
one of them. For DMUj the inputs and outputs are represented by
(x1j, x2j, xmj) and (y1j, y2j, ysj), respectively. As stated previously,
for each DMUo, DEA tries to maximize the ratio
DEA is a nonparametric performance evaluation technique with
a wide range of application areas within various disciplines. In
their breakthrough study, Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes (1978) define DEA as ‘‘a mathematical programming model applied to observational data and a new way of obtaining empirical estimates of
relations such as the production functions and/or efficient production possibility surfaces’’. Since its introduction in 1978, researchers in a multitude of disciplines distinguished and adopted DEA as
a promising tool that is easily applicable to their fields for performance evaluation and benchmarking of entities and operational
processes. A given set of entities, referred to as decision making
units (DMU) in DEA terminology, can be conveniently compared
in terms of multiple inputs and multiple outputs, assuming neither
a specific form of relationship between inputs and outputs, nor
fixed weights for the inputs and outputs of a DMU.
DEA firstly provides an efficiency score between 0 and 1 for each
DMU involved in the analysis. The efficiency score for a DMU is
determined by computing the ratio of total weighted outputs to total weighted inputs for it. DEA enables variable weights, which are
calculated in such a way that the efficiency score for the DMU is
maximized (Cooper, Seiford, & Tone, 2006). For a DEA model with
n different DMUs, n different linear programming (LP) optimization
models are solved to compute the efficiency scores of each of the
A basic DEA model can provide important metrics and benchmarks for monitoring the comparative performances of entities
in a group and take managerial actions to improve them. An efficient frontier or envelopment surface, which is drawn over the ‘‘best’’
DMUs, is the critical component of a DEA model. It is formed by the
efficient DMUs which have efficiency scores of 1. The efficiency
score of a DMU is basically the distance from each DMU to this efficient frontier. The efficiency scores of the inefficient DMUs are calculated in accordance with this distance represented as a Pareto
ratio. Besides the efficiency scores, another result offered by DEA
is the reference sets, or peer (sub) groups. For each inefficient unit,
DEA identifies a set of corresponding efficient units that can serve
as a benchmark peer group for the selected DMU. The solution of
the LP formulation of the model results in the reference set for each
DMU. Knowing that the DMUs in the reference set are efficient and
have the same input and output structure, they can be regarded as
‘‘good’’ examples operating practices for the corresponding
inefficient DMU (Boussofiane, Dyson, & Thanassoulis, 1991). The
percentages of each reference set unit contributing to the
Virtual output
Virtual input
Virtual input ¼ v 1 x1o þ þ v m xmo
Virtual output ¼ u1 y1o þ þ us yso
and the weights vi and ur are not fixed in advance. Best weights are
assigned according to the solution of the following fractional DEA
model (M1):
ðFPo Þ
u1 y1o þ þ us yso
v 1 x1o þ þ v m xmo
u1 y1o þ þ us yso
v 1 x1o þ . . . þ v m xmo
v 1; v 2; . . . ; v m P 0
u1 ; u2 ; . . . ; us P 0
The fractional model can be transformed into the linear model
shown below (M2):
ðLPo Þ
h ¼ u1 y1o þ þ us yso
v 1 x1o þ þ v m xmo ¼ 1
u1 y1j þ þ us ysj 6 v 1 x1j þ þ v m xmj
v 1; v 2; . . . ; v m P 0
u1 ; u2 ; . . . ; us P 0
The fractional model (M1) is equivalent to linear model (M2),
and Unit Invariance Theorem states that the optimal values of
max h = h⁄ in M1 and M2 are independent of the units in which
the inputs and outputs are measured, under the requirement that
these units are the same for every DMU.
The input and output data can be arranged in matrix notation X
and Y, respectively: